Among other duties, Brent Pry will coach linebackers at Penn State, and thus his first two in-home visits went to Hunterdon (N.J.) Central outside 'backer Jason Cabinda (Friday) and Salesianum (Wilmington, Del.) linebacker Troy Reeder (Saturday).
Of all the prospects affected by the departure of Ron Vanderlinden, Reeder was arguably the biggest among them, as the former assistant had built a very strong relationship with him. Despite Vanderlinden moving on, Reeder never wavered, and that won't change with a new staff in town. "He told me how important I was to this recruiting class, and that I fit great into their defensive system," Reeder wrote in a text. "He also talked about the success that they plan to bring with them to Penn State, and how excited they are." James Franklin is set to visit with the Reeder family this coming week.
Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop visited with Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise High safety commit Marcus Allen Saturday, and according to the prospects' father, it went well. He called it "a great visit" and if there was any concern about Allen's commitment to Penn State, it can be put to rest.
Receivers coach Josh Gattis (more on why that matters later) joined Franklin, offensive coordinator John Donovan and running backs coach Charles Huff in New Jersey to watch tight end commit Mike Gesicki's hoops game before visiting with him afterward. Gesicki did not respond to messages seeking comment about the visit. During the transition, I thought it was 50/50 that Penn State would keep the four-star, but things seem to be trending up. I'll hopefully have more from him tomorrow.
Just to put to bed the belief that Charlie Shuman is a new walk-on commit, the New York tackle and senior made that decision Dec. 24 but just spoke with Franklin today, who confirmed the program would be honoring that commitment. Athens (Pa.) kicker Troy Stivason is also still on course to join the Lions, and they are the only two prospects currently slated to walk-on in the class of 2014.
Gattis was originally slated to visit four-star Florida corner Amani Oruwariye Saturday, but that visit has been rescheduled for Tuesday.
I saw some posts about New Jersey receiver and Rutgers commit Saeed Blacknall, and as many of you have seen or read, he's began following some Penn State related folks on Twitter. Blacknall is a guy I said to keep an eye on in Thursday's coaches on the road piece, but the family hasn't responded to calls. It's a tight-rope walk if he is indeed interested in Penn State and vice-versa, as he'd likely want to visit, which would put things on shaky ground with the Scarlet Knights as it relates to his commitment. So, stay tuned there.